Moree Boomerangs reach third round of Koori Knockout

Kyle Saunders in action for the Moree Boomerangs at the Koori Knockout. Photo: Danny Dalton.
Kyle Saunders in action for the Moree Boomerangs at the Koori Knockout. Photo: Danny Dalton.

The Moree Boomerangs are coming off one of their better performances at the Koori Knockout last weekend, with one side making it through to the third round before being eliminated.

The 49th installment of the annual Aboriginal Rugby League Knockout made its way to the Central Coast over the long weekend and brought more than 140 teams together to compete across various age groups.

The South Coast Black Cockatoos dominated the men's draw and prevailed 40-12 over Griffith Three Ways United in the grand final.

The knockout also attracted some of the biggest names in rugby league. Greg Inglis, Josh Addo-Carr, Andrew Fifita, Jesse Ramien, Cody Walker, Josh Hoffman, Brent Naden, Ash Taylor and Will Smith all laced up the boots to add some extra excitement to the on-field action.

The Boomerangs entered three teams into this year's competition - two in the senior men's draw and one in the under-17s.

The under-17s went down 22-12 to Wiradjuri United in the first round, while the men's second side, made up of a mix of younger and more experienced players, were beaten 48-0 by Tweed Connexions in the opening round.

Their first side came up against the Wall Street Warriors in the first round and enjoyed a dominant 38-0 victory to progress.

Next up was a dual with Tweed Connexions, the Boomerangs once again proving too strong in an 18-6 win.

They came up against Dindima in the third round, and were just two points away from moving further into the competition, going down 12-10.

Boomerangs coach Chris Binge was absolutely thrilled with his side's efforts, where the club earned its best results in around five years.

"We've had a few lean years the last four or five years," Binge said.

"This year was so fruitful. It was an opportunity for us to really do something that we've probably steered away from the last few years which is sticking with our local talent.

"We went down as one of the few teams that was home grown. From that perspective, we're over the moon."

Binge said to make it to the final 16 teams left standing and be just two games away from a final was a great achievement.

"When you look at it, we may have overachieved but I knew we always had the talent within the club," he said.

"Credit has to go to every one of those players. They stood up, they showed the state they are a force to be reckoned with."

He said that their preparation was key to achieving the results they did.

"The way that these guys applied themselves in the six weeks we had leading up and the success of our little knockout prior to the big one was obviously, I believe, a catalyst to be able to do what we did at the bigger stage," Binge said.

"Overall, from the whole of our coaching staff, from our board's perspective and out community's perspective, this was definitely one we can walk away with very happy about.

"We're not far off doing something really special in this competition at that level.

"I think we're possibly one to two years away from possibly being able to knock this one off and being able to host the event.

"The future is quite bright. The ability we've got within our own community needs to be rewarded and congratulated for their effort."